Data analytics systems have changed the way decision-making works, taking advantage of the vast amount of information generated by transactions today and turning raw content into insight. While companies founded online have a natural leg-up in using data, due to the purely digital and quantifiable nature of their communications, brick-and-mortar stalwarts such as auto dealerships shouldn’t overlook their own analytics opportunities.
If your dealership can make effective use of consumer data, you’re on track for more effective communication with your audience, as well as better marketing and improved competitiveness. Considering the ongoing digitization of interactions between brands and their customers, the raw information you need to make this change is right at your fingertips. Furthermore, the internal data flowing in from other corners of the organization can change internal operations for the better.
The push toward analytics
Recent Deloitte research revealed the potential of data use in auto sales – and the larger industry forces that could soon make the technology inescapable. Automotive organizations have made tentative approaches to using information, potentially turned away and discouraged by the amount of information that has to be processed to drive useful results.
The categories of content that can lead to productive and useful analysis range from customer interaction data to large caches of historical information. On the internal side, supply chain information can ensure the dealership’s dealings with corporate partners proceeds efficiently and unimpeded. Deloitte indicated that with advanced application, organizations can take their analytics to predictive levels – forecasting more accurately than ever before.
Auto dealers with the infrastructure and software to use analytics can see immediate benefits when dealing with complex processes such as recall management, setting marketing spend and optimizing the customer experience. Wherever there’s a stream of raw data, today’s algorithms can turn out insights. As more dealerships embrace this operational model, businesses that fail to make the transition may find themselves at a disadvantage. An IT assessment can reveal whether your dealership is ready for such tech-intensive deployments, and point to potential improvements.
Valuable potential applications
According to NITS Solutions’ Neetu Seth, contributing to Digital Dealer, the exact nature of analytics programs will differ from one dealership to the next. These differences reflect the unique market conditions and challenges facing each organization, and span departments and functions. Tracking sales trends across critical departments allows dealerships to maximize efficiency in variables such as parts and accessories inventory on hand. Working with original equipment manufacturing partners to get a more detailed look at the supply chain can apply similar savings and effectiveness to new vehicle sales.
Modern analytics programs are both in-depth and user-friendly, with Seth pointing out the prevalence of helpful dashboards. These graphic interfaces combine all the insights employees need, customized to suit their roles, and present the facts in a way that doesn’t require serious technological proficiency to decode. Every department within a dealership can benefit from better IT infrastructure, and these dashboards are one tool toward that end.
IT support needed
For great analytics programs to take root, dealerships need strong connections with partner organizations, on-site or cloud-based storage systems to hold the data and enough network resources to run demanding programs. With all these elements in place, data can deliver value. Without any of them, the solutions may fail to live up to their potential. This makes the need for analytics yet another argument in favor of up-to-date IT infrastructure.